FFXIV Ultima (Hard) Guide – Advanced Tactics

We look at some advanced tactics to help you defeat FF14's Ultima Weapon (hard) fight.

Since the release of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn’s (FF14) 2.1 patch, players have been able to have a rematch against the penultimate boss battle of the original storyline, Ultima Weapon, with extra added challenge and some sought after loot.

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There are already many written and video guides outlining the main fight mechanics of “The Minstrel’s Ballad: Ultima’s Bane”, but essentially it all boils down to becoming familiar with the AOE patterns and avoiding them (unless you’re tanking). Therefore, this guide will provide some very specific tips on how to tackle some of the more challenging parts of the battle which many players struggle to overcome.

Check Your Damage Per Second (DPS).

  • Ideal ilvl 65+
  • Reduce Ultima Weapon’s HP to trigger Titan’s phase before a second whirlwind attack by Garuda

This is a DPS race. If anyone tells you otherwise, they’re lying. You have around 15 minutes max from engaging Ultima Weapon to defeat it. When this time is up, no matter what phase you’ve gotten it to in the fight, it will jump into the air, land in the middle, and start a 10 second countdown towards wiping the party. It is still possible to defeat it during this countdown, but your DPS would still have to have been pretty good for even a remote chance to do this. You don’t need superlative gear to win the fight, but ilvl 65 is a good benchmark even though the minimum entry requirement is ilvl 61, but try to aim for ilvl 70.

The phase rotation is based on the amount of damage you can deal to Ultima Weapon. When its HP reaches a certain percentage, the next phase will trigger. Therefore, the best check for your DPS is during the very first phase: Garuda’s phase. If Garuda ends up performing a second whirlwind attack, then it is likely that you do not have good enough DPS.

If Garuda does perform a second whirlwind, this doesn’t mean success is impossible. But knowledge of the fight and individual’s ability to avoid AOE’s becomes imperative. Any KOs, no matter how short, will severely hamper the DPS and chances of defeating Ultima Weapon. Eating good quality food and starting your cooldown rotation early will help if your ilvl is at the lower end of the spectrum.

Only Tanks Should be Using Limit Break

  • Limit Break Level 3 should be saved for tanks to use during final “Aetheric Boom” 

It is a little obvious to restate what is already a widely accepted strategy regarding the party’s Limit Break, but all too often I have seen DPS use it as soon as the Level 3 bar is full, or just before final Aetheric Boom phase. DO NOT be tempted to use it if you’re a DPS, no matter how “1337” your monk gear is!

Dealing with Eruptions

  • All ranged players should spread out at beginning of Ifrit’s phase
  • Players with Eruption should run in small circles, at opposite ends of the arena if possible

At the beginning of Ifrit’s phase, these eruptions tend to cause the most problems. As they randomly target two players with a series of four Eruptions, too many times players run around like crazy causing death and significant damage to other players and themselves.

As soon as Titan dies, all ranged players should spread out as much as possible around the arena. This will minimise the amount of players caught up in any possible eruptions. It also makes it easier for the next step.

If you happen to have eruptions cast on you, you only need to run around in fairly small circles away from the other player with Eruption. The size of these circles is essentially the perimeter of the first Eruption. Furthermore, if you take-in the very edge of the arena on your route, part of the eruption will happen off the map, reducing the area of effect.

Rock Around the Magitek Bit Clock

  • All DPS defeat second phase of Magitek Bits in a clockwise/anticlockwise rotation starting from Ultima Weapon tanking position

The second batch of Magitek Bit cannons/lasers is a tripping point for many players. Directing their AOEs mostly towards the centre of the arena, conveniently where you have to go to minimise damage from airship crashes, this is probably the hardest part of the battle.

The best strategy I’ve used to beat this part of the fight is to have all DPS start defeating the Magitek Bits one by one in a clockwise or anticlockwise rotation starting from Ultima Weapon’s tanking position. By doing this you can take out at least two of the blighters before the airship crashes, giving you a bit more breathing room. By continuing to defeate the Magitek Bits quickly one by one, you make it a lot easier on the healers as there’s less for them to dodge.

Take One Or Two Aetheric Bombs For the Team

  • All ranged players spread out around the arena before third Aetheric Boom phase
  • Tank use Limit Break Level 3
  • Run indiscriminately towards nearest bombs

Lastly, no matter how good your DPS is, if you can’t pop ALL the Aetheric Bombs in their final diamond formation, it’s an instant wipe. Whilst with the other Aetheric Bomb phases you’ll have stacked all DPS and healers to share damage when popping, this just isn’t efficient for the third phase. The tethers are too short to reach all bombs in time, even if the party splits in two. It is possible, but it’s not easy, and seldom succesful.

Therefore, it’s easier for the party to spread out around the arena before the final Aetheric Boom. The tank then uses Limit Break Level 3 whilst Aetheric Boom is being cast to give all the party a defence buff. Then, after the AOE knock-back, everyone should run indiscriminately towards the nearest bomb to pop it.

Whilst this does sound messy, it’s by far the easiest method I’ve used to eat the bombs. The tank’s Limit Break Level 3 ability will enable a single player to take at least one bomb by themselves. However, as these Aetheric Bombs are so close together, it’s more than likely you’ll be sharing the damage with a player who’s trying to pop the bomb next door anyway. This makes all then bombs explode very quickly, enabling to DPS to put the pedal the metal to finish off Ultima Weapon.

Good luck and happy FF14 playing!

For more information on FF14, visit www.finalfantasyxiv.com.


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Author
Destrolyn.Bechgeddig
Bearded British game-bear. Likes his JRPGs accompanied with a G&T. Lives in London, UK. Also writes a lot about theatre and film. *jazz hands*